It can be difficult working on a one-person team. Flying solo often means working remotely, without a traditional office space, and perhaps without any support - all challenges to staying motivated on the job.
But there’s a ton of freedom and creativity in being a solopreneur, too! You have complete control over your mission, your goals, and your execution.
To help you stay focused and moving forward, here are some basic survival tips.
Thrive As A One-Person Team
Have Regular Work Hours
Give yourself a starting time and ending time each day. Yes, there will be times when you don’t stick to that schedule exactly. However, it is easy to lose track of time, work nonstop, or get disorganized when you’re the only one policing yourself.
Having regular work hours will help you stay on track, and greatly help your productivity.
Find A Space
Don’t work from home - at least not all the time. Yes, your home office is convenient, but having an outside space that forces you to get up and go in the mornings will help you stay on schedule and on track.
Consider a coworking space, but even a cafe will do. Working outside of your home helps you feel more connected to people, and less isolated- which is good for your mental health. Hey, it might even result in a meeting with a potential client or collaborator.
Because things can get disorganized as a solo team, make sure you set clear boundaries with family members and friends. Notify them about your working schedule, and stick to it. You’re not free to chat or have a three hour lunch just because you work for yourself.
Pay Attention to Your Branding
It can be especially hard in this media-rich world when it’s just you working on branding, and not a whole marketing team.
But you need branding for your small business. Similarly, make sure you have a social media presence; different platforms work better for different types of businesses, but there is no question that a business must be involved in social media in this day and age.
Start with Linkedin. It’s a great place to promote yourself and your business to fellow professionals. Whatever you do, be consistent, make your branding fun and visual, and feel free to reach out to other professionals for help.
Control Your Budget
Okay, so you don’t have an accounting department to keep you on track. You can still learn to keep yourself on track.
Are there spots in the budget where you can be a little more thrifty and save some money? Every bit counts when you’re on your own. If you need help, you can always seek professional guidance.
While obviously good for your health, excercise is actually also good for productivity. Solo teams need to be extra productive- because it’s all you! Give yourself that extra boost.
Stress is inevitable at work (unless you work at a kitten cafe or something), and downright guaranteed for solo teams.
Stay low-stress, and therefore more productive, by staying organized. And because you’re bound to feel overwhelmed at one point or another, learn to manage that stress!
You don’t have to do everything on your own! Take some of the pressure off by delegating the tasks that aren’t your main focus. The freelance market is only growing. Hire someone to help, even if just for a few hours each week.
I know, you don’t want to give up the reins. But it’s okay- it’ll help you focus on what you really need to.
Go to Networking Events
Okay, we know networking isn’t everyone’s favorite professional activity. But networking isn’t as bad as it used to be. With websites like Meetup.com, you can find exactly the type of professionals you want to talk to. It’ll help you stay connected, help your business move forward, and maybe make you a few new friends.
Consider Working With Others
Teaming up with other businesses or individuals can sometimes make your business even stronger. You could work with a manufacturer, or team up with a business similar to yours. Not to mention, latching onto an existing company’s customer base can do wonders for your following and customer reach. Get the word out about your company.
Organize Team Events
Organize "team" events with freelancers, mentors, shared-space neighbors, customers... the list goes on. Just because you're a team of one doesn't mean you can't socialize professionally. It could be as simple as a happy hour or coffee meeting.
Have a Hobby
This is a good tip for anyone, of course, but having a hobby or creative outlet may bring some new, creative ideas to the surface for your business (while also giving you a fun break).
Taking time off is important for your health and productivity. Worried about taking a vacation because you’re a one man team? Just plan ahead, work hard before you go, and get out of here! If you must spend a few hours each day working while you’re at the beach, that’s fine.
Go Forth and Conquer!
Remember, you started out as a one-man team for a reason, so flourish! Expand, grow, and do what you set out to do.
Happy teams perform better. Learn how to keep your employees happy and productive.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.